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A FREE seven-week theater intensive for students at the Goodman

About the Program ▼

Program Dates ▼

How to Apply ▼

Past Performances ▼

The Goodman’s PlayBuild – Youth Intensive is an entirely FREE, seven-week program, introducing 14 to 18-year-old students in the Chicago metropolitan area to theater arts. Held at the Goodman, this program gives students the opportunity to learn skills from local theater professionals that are instantly applicable not only to the world of theater, but also their world at large.

PlayBuild acquaints students to the techniques used for devised theater, building and refining their skills in:

  • Performance
    • Acting
    • Space Work and Physical Theater
    • Fight Choreography
    • Improv
  • Creative Writing
    • Storytelling
    • Poetry
    • Comedy
  • Communication
    • Interviewing
    • Team Building
    • Critical Analysis
    • Public Speaking

Designed to validate the voices of its participants and get them to examine their own potential for creativity, PlayBuild introduces students to all elements of the creation of theater, culminating in a performance on the Goodman’s stage.

Building on the legacies of artists like Viola Spolin and techniques like Viewpoints, participants weave together their own stories and stories collected from their communities through interviews and research, culminating in a public performance of an original work. This ensemble-building program invites students to explore how each of us contributes to the human drama. In addition, students will be able to collectively develop and design sound and costumes for the production.

Interested in musical theater? Learn more about the Goodman’s Musical Theater Intensive.

Program Dates

The 2024 session of PlayBuild will run Mondays through Thursdays from 9am-1pm at Goodman Theatre. The program begins on Monday, June 24 and will culminate with a final performance on Monday, August 12.

How to Apply

There will be a required group audition for the PlayBuild program on Saturday, May 4 at the Goodman Theatre located at 170 N. Dearborn St. Auditions will occur in 1-hour increments. If unable to attend, please email to make alternative arrangements.

Each applicant should come prepared to move, collaborate with others and take creative risks! Additional prep materials are not required for this audition.

Please fill out the audition form using the link below. In addition to providing some basic information, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What are your interests in theatre?
  • Why do you want to explore them here at the Goodman?
  • What do you hope to gain from participating in the PlayBuild Youth Intensive this summer?

Registration for this program is now CLOSED. Please email for future inquiries.


Watch the full length performance of the 2018 final performance: 1968: The Revolution Remastered.

You can also watch the full length PlayBuild (formerly General Theater Studies) 2016 final performance, Fight or Flight, 2015 final performance, The Water is Rising, 2014 final performance, Heartscape, 2012 final performance,  Fear and Progress,  view photos from Domino Effect, the General Theater Studies 2009 final performance, or view photos from (R)Evolution, the 2010 final performance!